• By Vanessa Seitz, Midway, Correspondent

Midway News and Views

Midway News Midway Community Dinner The annual Midway Community Dinner was held Monday, March 25, at Midway Christian Church. Chef Ouita Michel led a team of volunteers cooking a feast of pasta with meatballs, mac ‘n cheese, steamed broccoli, garlic bread, fresh salad with drink and dessert. Approximately 75 people attended and gathered together to enjoy the meal and company. The community dinner is always held on the last Monday of the month. 5K Fun Run/Walk for Peru Runners and walkers are all invited to come to The Peru Mission Team’s 5K Run/ Walk April 20 in Northridge Estates. Race registration opens at 8 a.m. in front of Northside Elementary and parking will be at the school. The entry fee is $20 per person and includes a Peru 2019 t-shirt. Cash and checks are accepted. Online registration is open and race details can be found at www.midwaybc.net/5K/. Midway University Events April 5 at 8.30 a.m. is the Equine Studies Preview Day – where invited attendees can learn about Midway University and the equestrian program. Tours and demonstrations will be held, and anyone interested in attending can contact Melody Small, Equine Recruiter and Admissions Counsellor (859) 846-5822 or msmall@midway.edu. Midway Views A focus on Midway Renaissance, Inc. – what it is and what they do…. (from a talk in January by board president Debra Shockley). Midway Renaissance, Inc. is a non-profit organization working to preserve the historic town by the same name. The organization strives to improve the quality of life for Midway’s current residents, to make our town more appealing to those who visit, and to ensure economic vibrancy now and in the future. Throughout the year, the committee produces a variety of special events, including Francisco’s Farm Art Fair and Midsummer Nights in Midway. All proceeds directly support the mission of preserving Midway’s past and ensuring the future. The Renaissance committee was formed in 2001. The National Trust for Historical Preservation started a program to encourage economic development in small towns. In 1997, then-Governor Paul Patton took that program and made it his own, launching Renaissance Kentucky. He was a big proponent of small towns remaining viable. Renaissance Kentucky was set up initially to revitalize downtown areas in small towns and keep the downtown thriving, with the goal of helping communities stay vibrant economically and minimizing the impact of the big box stores like Walmart. Renaissance Kentucky was designed to encourage and help our communities revitalize their downtowns by developing businesses, housing and rental opportunities. Renaissance Kentucky set aside $11M to distribute to Renaissance cities and divided cities by size into gold, silver and bronze. Midway entered in 2001 as a silver city under certain criteria that Midway had to meet, such as the police force, historical district, and so on. After the initial year-long application process Midway Renaissance Inc. set up as a non-profit 501 (c3) with bylaws and a board of directors. Through the non-profit, all-volunteer Midway Renaissance, Inc., $2.4 million dollars were channeled through the City of Midway for projects. Among the projects that many people enjoy are the downtown streetscape renovations, buried utility lines, redone streets and sidewalks, plantings, parking, pedestrian railroad crossings and stonewall, and another grant that allowed the purchase of the Rau Building, which has become the new City Hall. Then the parking lot behind City Hall was also paid for by Renaissance funds. In 2011, Midway Renaissance Inc. left the Main Street program, but after a two-year dormancy, Midway Renaissance, Inc. reactivated in 2015. The group is now an independent organization, with Francisco’s Farm Art Fair as the major fundraiser for the organization. Midway Renaissance has a Greenspace Committee that started a tree nursery at the cemetery, which eventually merged into the Walter Bradley Park Committee. The Social and Cultural Committee started the Francisco’s Farm Art Fair, and is also responsible for the Midsummer Nights gatherings in June, July and August. The first Midsummer Nights was in 2016. The Special Care Committee eventually became the Nursing Home Taskforce, which helped bring the Homeplace to Midway. The Living History Committee has been involved in placing historical markers, maintaining the historical displays in City Hall and is starting a walking tour of Midway. The Growth and Industrial Development Committee has helped engage façade restoration grants and is involved in getting people to relocate to Midway. Francisco’s Farm Art Fair at Midway University on May 18-19 will bring artists from all over the country, including Maryland, Florida and Alabama. There will be a new event this year called “Flavors of Francisco’s Farm” in the amphitheater area of the University grounds. There will be food trucks with Kentucky Proud products and local wine.

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